Lee Jefferson casts welcome light on the brief but pervasive popularity of Jesus the miracle-worker in early Christian art, setting it into a matrix of Christian persuasion and late Antique social, medical, and religious practice to probe the ideas that converged in these images before miraculous healing passed to the relics of the saints.
Southern Methodist University
Through early Christian art, Lee Jefferson's study gives access to an appreciation of Jesus as a bodily healer that is not available in the literary sources.
-J. Patout Burns,
In the history of art, the role of visual representation in early Christian communities remains one of the most complex and hotly debated issues. In this cogent study of the iconography of Christ as 'Miracle Worker' in the early Church, Lee Jefferson gives renewed attention to the question of art's capacity to elucidate complex theological concepts. Placing the images into their Greco-Roman cultural context, Jefferson draws on literary and visual evidence to ask: How did the earliest Christian communities conceive the person Christ? Readers from diverse backgrounds will find the ensuing discussion compelling.
The University of Melbourne
Lee Jefferson's work successfully integrates the textual and visual evidence for early Christian teaching about Jesus as healer and miracle worker. Most of all, he shows that consideration of early Christian art is a critical component of our understanding of early Christian practice and theology.